Friday First Takes - Making our sport Ft. Worth-it

As a college baseball fan, what's your worst nightmare about bringing novice fans to a game? That it turns into one of those five-hour marathon ping-fests that sours potential fans into thinking this sport was just another fabricated version of the real thing - i.e. the Arena Football syndrome.

(Clint Arnold led the Frogs with three hits tonight in a 5-1 win)

Well tonight I went out to Lupton Stadium in Ft. Worth with a couple of friends to see TCU and Air Force play. And of course, I worried about a Frog-stomp that would soil the name of college baseball to these newbies.

Thankfully, that didn't happen.

TCU starter Tyler Lockwood was on lock-down mode, allowing just six hits, one run to the Falcons and striking out eight to help the Horned Frogs to a 5-1 win. The best part? The game lasted a brisk two hours exactly.

The Frogs were paced on offense by Arkansas transfer Clint Arnold and Weatherford JC transfer Steve Ellington each had three hits and Corey Steglich, who had two RBI on a pair of hits. Chay Derbigny was the only one to crack the magicians code on Lockwood, slicing a screaming home run to straightaway center field that seemed to keep carrying and carrying and carrying.

Nice digs. Really nice digs. In fact, I will go on record as saying when you look at all the facilities in the Mountain West Conference - Miller Park at BYU, Gwynn Stadium at SDSU, Wilson Stadium at UNLV and Isotopes Field at New Mexico - they have to have the best home collection of home fields of any conference in the country.

Lupton is very new and very nice. Every seat is of the professional variety with cup holders and just plain comfy. The stands are very close to home plate, so you feel like you're right on top of the action, even the upper deck.

I can just imagine what this place is like in the post-season MWC tourney or if they ever are able to host a regional.

(TCU's Lupton Stadium. Look how close the stands are to the field)

Now the nightly news in the usual fashion...
The best of Friday... well of what I could catch up with tonight.

1- Nick Haughian, Washington
The Husky ace strikes out 15 in complete game win over No. 11 Arizona.
In a matchup with UofA ace Preston Guilmet, Haughian held the still-struggling Cats to a wimpy total of just two hits as Udub improves to 19-8 overall. Andy Lentz got the game-winning RBI double in the 7th as part of a 2-for-3 night. This all came in front of a Safeco Field crowd of 5,187.

2- Missouri Sate.
Won at Wichita State 7-4 in 10 inns.
The Bears overcame another raucous Eck Stadium crowd despite giving up two runs in the bottom of the 9th to send it to extras. Cool as a cucumber, MSU scored three runs in the top of the 10th to improve to 18-8. Ben Carlson improved his average to .408 by hitting his 9th dinger of the season. And reliever Matt Frevert picked up his fourth win of the season, to go along with three saves. WSU's win streak ends at 19.

3- Yonder Alonso, Miami.
His jog-off home run in the bottom of the 9th beats Clemson 6-4.
The Miami slugger keeps affirming to everyone that there's almost NO reason to ever throw him something he can turn on. It was his own hit of the night, but it was good enough to decide the game and also go clanging off the parking garage past the right field fence.

Yonder Alonso.jpg
(Does he look like a monster? 'Coz he plays like a monster.)

The worst of Friday... well, that's kind of harsh, isn't it? But here's three bad things.

1- Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Give these two road kill status.
In the three marquee matchups of the ACC tonight, these two got blown out in big losses at Florida State and North Carolina respectively. The Cavs, who lost 10-3, saw Jacob Thompson suffer his first loss, getting roped for 11 hits, seven runs and six earned runs in 6.1 innings. Tech fell victim to its weak offense, getting just six hits and striking out 13 times against three Heel pitchers.

2- Arizona's and UCLA's offenses.
Cats can't score against Washington and the Bruins K'd 15 times in loss to USC.
Both of these offenses came into the season with menacing offenses, but in their losing skids - Arizona has now lost 9-of-11 and UCLA has lost 6-of-9 - their bats have taken the brunt of the criticism. USC's Tommy Milone had 14 Ks and gave up just five hits in 8.0 innings of work in Westwood tonight. Bruin team batting average dips to .262.

3- Ole Miss, Georgia, Kentucky, Memphis, Tennessee and Northeastern.
Because none of them had the foresight to build domed stadiums to protect their games from the elements. These top 30 teams all had their games cancelled today due to the rain that won't seem to stop this spring.

(The Frog girls did their thing on top of the dugouts between innings)


Love the comment about domed stadiums... With an almost $20 million expansion of the baseball stadium underway, one almost has to wonder why Ole Miss ISN'T building a domed stadium.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert